A GROUP of cab drivers, led by the Sarvodaya Driver Association, Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters’ and Tour Operators Association and local taxi clusters from around the city, staged a protest against the increase in daily passenger and commercial vehicle entry taxes from Rs 3 to Rs 100, outside Haryana Bhawan on Monday. Protesters also set on fire an effigy of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.
The Haryana government had on April 1 replaced the earlier system, wherein cab drivers had to pay Rs 950 to the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) every three months for a four-wheeler, with a new system, under which they are expected to pay Rs 100 each time they enter the state.
This streamlines the process for the government, ensuring only a single body handles the taxation process, which was earlier split between the Excise and Taxation department as well as the RTA. This system also increases the revenue earned as taxation.
Sanjay Samrat, president, Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters’ and Tour Operators Association, said, “Delhi shares around 80 per cent of its border with Haryana and most offices and factories are shifting to Gurgaon and neighbouring areas. People of Delhi who travel to the state will be harassed and we will lose our clientele, which has already been shrinking because of the spread of Ola and Uber.”
Kamaljit Gill, president of the Sarvodaya Driver Association, which has Ola and Uber drivers as members, said drivers will disrupt the MCD elections and force trains and Metro services to come to a halt if their demands are not met.
Uber and Ola have just ended a week-long strike with thousands protesting the drop in earnings and rise in charges levied by respective firms.
“Tourists have been forced to wait for two-four hours at toll booths at borders because of the long queues. We cannot afford to buy the one-time pass so we are buying it on a daily basis,” said Zail Singh, who owns five cabs. Web-based cab firms, meanwhile, said they are working out the modalities of the tax so that they can rework their fare mechanism.